Photo: retrieved

The government’s financial control agenda is evolving and they seem to have found a way to skip the whole ordeal of intervening private banks and jailing managers just to monitor how people use their money. And why settle with monitoring people’s finances when you can own them?
By implementing the central bank’s digital currency they can do exactly that, and more. Let’s take a look at the most recent event.

The elderly routinely receive a message everytime one of the government’s bonuses arrives, but this month it was different. On December 7, they got two messages and it seemed like the money for the pension came in, and then immediately out, with the only description being:

“Saving in petro.”

The messages looked like this:

MOTHERLAND WALLET: CREDIT for an amount of Bs.S. 1,800.00 for the concept of Elderly Love Pensions (Third month Christmas bonus 2018) on 12/07/2018

MOTHERLAND WALLET: DEBIT for an amount of Bs.S. 1,800.00 for the concept of Savings in Petro on 12/07/2018

Yes, the government traded the money the pensioners were desperately waiting for, for petros without their consent.

Naturally, people were pissed, and confused. Did that mean they wouldn’t be able to use the money? Did they need a Petro Wallet now? Could they change it back to bolivars?

The government has been handing out bonuses to the pensioners through the carnet de la patria system for months now. After a year of hyperinflation, the elderly have become so dependent on these bonuses, pensioners count the days for them to arrive.

That process normally goes like this: people receive the message, they go to, they transfer the money to the bank, and then they spend all day at the bank trying to withdraw the money.

That webpage,, is one of the most visited sites of Venezuela, only toppled by Facebook, Google, YouTube and Banesco.

The page shows a new option now: “Savings Plan”. It has a little piggybank and everything. Now you can exchange your bolivars for petros and supposedly protect them from the hyperinflation the government provokes. It seems like they were so proud of the new function, that they automatically converted people’s money to petros.

So kind of them.

Here’s a wild idea: let’s make our main currency, the bolivar, stable enough so you can save money just by accumulating it. Crazy, huh?

By showing off that new “Savings” function, they gave us a look at what they have in mind for the banking system in Venezuela. They sent people the bolivars, and then, from their accounts, they exchanged them to petros. This must be a new form of the dictator’s erotic fantasy and wet dream: full control over citizens’ finances. They could take money when they feel like it, erase it, transfer it, you name it.

All they need to make it happen is force people to ditch their bank accounts and make the Patria webpage their default banking system. Then, the sky’s the limit.

If you’re starving, it’s really hard to pass on a bonus that might be twice your monthly salary just by signing up in Making people dependent on government bonuses to survive, and making the webpage the only way to access those bonuses is the perfect way to get them to ditch their official banking system.

Just complete this and you’re done, way better than working.

Even elders that hadn’t signed up for the system received the text messages, meaning that once they signed up, the money would be waiting for them.

The next step for the government would be to add a way to spend the money directly from the webpage, without having to withdraw it from a bank account. They’re working on that too, and this is where the petro comes in. Now the webpage has an option to integrate the Petro Wallet to the Patria Wallet.

For now, this is just an idea, a project. You can’t use the petro yet (even though they’ve launched it like three times by now), and the option to convert the petros back to bolivars and send them to a bank account is available, although the option is buried deep  in the menu, you might even need a guide to find it.

This piece is part of our #Omichronicles series in partnership with Omipedia. If you want to help bring crypto to the masses, create an account here and share your knowledge! 

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  1. The easiest thing to do would be to deposit the currency of the nation into their accounts.

    Unless the government has run out of money and is now content to stiff the oldsters.

  2. “We seriously have to do something about this hyperinflation. What IS the problem?


    “How about we pay pensioners in petros? We can then slow down the Bolivar printing press, plus the old-timers won’t be able to buy anything with their funny money?


  3. Socialism-Communism doesn’t care about people, its only purpose is to enslave people in every way and form possible. Eventually it will kill as it has done in soooooo many occasions. This is a perfect example of it. The regime as no use for the elderly so the sooner they die the better and they’ll lend a helping hand as described in this article.

  4. Uncle Sam is Venezuela’s largest buyer of oil. There is building pressure to boycott Venezuelan oil imports. Citgo, Valero, Chevron and Conoco-Phillips are the Big Four importers. So, here is a hare-brained idea how we might be able to help Venezuelans, as the regime continues to force the petro onto the most vulnerable members of the population:

    The Trumpster has a sit-down with the Big Four and tells them to come up with a plan to open offices in Venezuelan major population centers, and freely exchange petros for Dollars at the rate of 1 Petro = the weekly average price of 1 barrel of oil. The petros they accumulate will then be used by the Big Four to pay PDVSA for imports at the same rate, minus the expense of operating the exchange offices.

    Trump tells Maduro, “Hey, look, it’s either this or a total boycott! I am getting a lot of pressure to do something and this is the least painful. Besides, you want to promote the petro and this would be an ideal way. The petro would be stable against oil and the dollar as you intended. Every VZ citizen would realize that, indeed, the petro is worth a barrel of oil and is internationally fungible. It would become the crypto-currency of choice in VZ and maybe throughout LatAm. A win-win for everyone!” Now, dammit, let’s make this happen, or there will be steps towards a boycott!”

    • I like it. This gives the US cash that is used to buy oil from PDVSA directly to pensioners, bypassing all the corruption in the the PDVSA and the government.

    • The Petro if ficticious. It exists in the minds of Chavismo. NOBODY is exchanging or buying the Petro.

      What Trump needs to do is NOTHING. If Maduro wants to help the people of Venezuela, he can do it without Trump doing anything.

      But Maduro won’t. Pensioners suffer because of Maduro and the Chavistas who put The Revolution above all else. It isn’t the duty of the oil companies to help anyone except their shareholders.

      Ball has always been in Maduro’s court.

      • Bear in mind Citgo is not a public corporation, but is privately owned by PDVSA. All profits go to Maduro and Co. And shareholders of the other companies will not benefit from an embargo of VZ oil.

        • Right you are, but these companies have no duty to help anyone except Maduro (their sole “stockholder”). CLEARLY they will help Maduro, so any plan to get them to do anything remotely resembling justice (humanitarian gestures, etc) would be scoffed at.

          I would have thought that long ago the US would have told Maduro that any oil refined in the US, the profits would be returned to Chavismo only in food and medicine. BUT Uncle Sam cannot do that… it would be akin to telling an alcoholic employee I will pay him in food and medicine because I don’t want him drinking away his paycheck. It is his paycheck. I agreed to pay him in dollars, not food. I can’t change the rules. Neither can Uncle Sam

    • So the four oil companies become the Central Bank of Venezuela guaranteeing the peg of the petro to the daily average price of a benchmark grade of crude in dollars? The regime would love it! Fogettabout pumping messy oil and just cyberprint cyberpetros!

      • No guarantees! The deal works so long as PDVSA will sell a barrel of oil to anyone with a petro. So if they flooded the market with petros then less oil would be paid for in dollars (not exactly what Maduro wants!). And if they went crazy and couldn’t produce enough oil meet their dollar plus petro demand, then the exchanges shut down.

        • If the regime wanted the petro to be viable currency, they would exchange it for “a barrel of of oil” (for the dollar price of a barrel). I appreciate your idea, and your humor (and infinite optimism).

          Your idea is a heck of a lot better than the Spanish guy’s “Inflation does not exist.” You are obviously right that somebody responsible should take the wheel. And maybe, just maybe, the regime could actually be cajoled into the deal. The whole deal on cybercurrency is really not understood, just as the real deal on money isn’t really understood – not by everyone. It would be interesting to know how many do understand.

          Tell you the truth, I still haven’t worked out all the economics of your proposal. Redeeming pensioner’s petros for dollars would put the oil companies in the position of government. One piece I’m missing is the float of petros v. oil purchases. Another is the size of pension obligations. Theoretically, maybe your idea would work.

    • @Lorenzo @11H45: Here this looks too good. I give you an D- on this one. I proposed something like it to help multinational clients some years ago, but more rustic, using another Venezuelan monetary reference. And because everyone in that bunch was compliant, they all lost billions of USD. It didn’t work. Accountants and Conpliance/Internal control will not allow it.

      Have you seen Goodyear news today?

    • The Petros can be converted to Bs, I did it (somehow, I could understand the convoluted way to do it). I had to, I’m a senior citizen with a pension. But the deposit/transfer to my bank account is still on waiting, since last Friday! Also my husband’s… We are beginning to think this is just another lie.

      • Liz – I’m sorry, I don’t know how so many of us fell asleep in complacency and did not see the Jurassic Park like threats. There are people working hard to try to come up with a way to put a stop to all this.

        • Gringo, thank goodness, it’s not that we depend solely on the pension to make a living. But it’s our right earned pension, gained through a life time of hard work (and paying our dues to the Social Security system). Thus we are not going to let that money sit around in digital ‘banks”, as they just steel the money after a while if you don’t cash it.

      • I think that even the “petros” in your account might be fictitious, just a made up number not anywhere in the blockchain. This is made so you are forced to exchange, but guess what? they won’t be in your account instantly, and as the day pass, the actual value of the money you receive will be worth less.

  5. This would be comical if not for the tragedy of poor people living in pensions confiscated by the government. This is not unique to Venezuela however, I know of people that purchased apartments in Costa Rica or even Chicago, or helped their poorer grandsons pay for tuition in US universities, etc. during the glorious period of 2003-2010.

    Then nobody complained.

    This site has also published multiple articles supporting crypto-currencies, with the support of many readers. Sure not about the PETRO, but who cares if it is Bitcoin.

    Now this genius proposing more alternatives that require both:
    1) A computer device or smartphone
    2) Internet
    Plus being savvy on going easy on web solutions.

    And you think much older than 70 or 75 in Venezuela have the capacity and or capabilities to do anything now. Maybe using a hanging device.

    Now it is far too late. Confess your sins and let them go in peace. God is waiting.

  6. “‘He who does not work, neither shall he eat’ – this is the practical commandment of socialism.” — V. I. Lenin

    And since the state religion (atheism/evolution) places no intrinsic value on human life, the pensioners must be ruthlessly eliminated. They’ve done it before and the useful idiots helped.

  7. More reading to the top and I’m giving @Lorenzo an A: ”CITGO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As a result, we have no publicly-traded equity securities and no stock ticker symbol” official response from CITGO.

    Many writing here today about this post is truly innocent like the belief in Santa or disingenuous. I’m starting to believe they belong to the latter category.

    Don’t you see the business opportunity?

    Another black market has just been created:

    Many pensioners will trade their PETROS to ”helpers” that will collect a ”pious” commission for a lower rate ROE Bs/PETRO. Making high profits as usual. But, Venezuelan this time will be stealing directly from other Venezuelan instead of from the country as they did during the glorious period 2003-2010.

    Give up rationality and go fight and die for. Trump will not and should not be involved sending Marine to this shithole.

    Or are you so astonished you can’t reply?


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